Trifecta Omnium March 2013


Every year Las Cruces (and the Zia Velo team) hosts the Trifecta Omnium race for the NMRS series. It starts the season off with some good grudge matches and gets the legs all warmed up for the road series ahead.

The first day consists of a Time Trial that is 20k and takes place out by the Las Cruces airport. The picture above shows the road they take out and the turnaround point. I was lucky enough to be the volunteer at this point, so I was able to see the action!

Don’t let the bright sun deceive you, Las Cruces had to show its “true colors” when it comes to the month of March. Even though we are told we have one of the best weather places in the country, the only draw back is the wind. These poor riders were fighting off 50 mph winds!


This is a picture of Mike coming up on the turn. He thought he was doing terrible because of his time coming up the road with the wind, but on the way back he was able to have the wind in his favor. He podiumed for this race! He was able to get third place out of 35 riders in his category! I am so proud of him! If you recall our previous post on long-term goals, one of Mike’s goals was to podium on the Trifecta TT.


We weren’t able to get any pictures of the Criterium race (where they lap for a half an hour) because they had to cancel it because of the weather. It is usually held the same day of the time trial. The next day the Zia Velo crew headed up to Hillsboro to race in the road race.

Hillsboro is located about an hour and a half from town. The weather was beautiful and there was a lot of hill climbing. Mike was able to stay with the pack and even made it to the final sprint! He launched his team mate Phil Simpson to win second place!

See last year’s post:

Overall, Zia Velo did an awesome job representing!

El Paso Bandit Races #1

Bike season is back in force!  We are so excited for two reasons. One, that means that spring is here and that there will be more daylight.  Two, biking season is here and winter is gone!  

el paso 

El Paso has a “bandit” series on the weekends once the racing season starts.  Last weekend they had their first bandit race in El Paso.  Mike was able to go and represent Zia Velo and see some old friends from El Paso that like to road race too.


Mike is checking out the competition on this turn.  The race was about 60 miles long (which is good because the upcoming Trifecta race will be about the same to come!)


Mike was able to stay with the main group and was able to make it to the end with them.  The last part of the race was VERY close.  Mike came in fourth place!

Here’s to the start of the bandit season and some awesome pictures that were taken along the way!

Valley of the Sun 2013




Mike participated in a three-day bike challenge in Phoenix, Arizona over President’s Day weekend in February.  He competed in the Category 5 race last year when he was starting up road riding and switched to Category 4 this year.

We drove up the night of Valentine’s Day to stay with Mike’s sister in Tucson, which is only an hour and a half away.  We spent the whole car ride playing trivia games about each other.  It’s amazing what road trips have done for us to get to know each other throughout the years.  We should go on a game show!



Friday was the time trial on the west portion of the Phoenix area.  Last year, Mike placed fourth in his category with a 33:45 minute time.  This year he knew he was going to have more competition, so we made it a goal that he would get under 33 minutes.  And that is just what he did.  His time came out to be 32:20.   With that great of a time, he still made 12th place!  This year the competition was fierce.  Considering the first place person was only 50 seconds from Mike’s place, we will take it!


Saturday was the road race in Casa Grande, Arizona.  We stayed at a hotel in that area so it was nice to not have to get up as early.  Mike’s race was at 11 am.  We showed up to watch the other racers take off around the bend.  Mike was dropped on the hill the previous year and made it a goal to stay with the pack.  And he did!  Unfortunately, they put his group on hold at one portion of the race because the racers behind them were catching up with them.  I guess this is called “neutralizing” the group (which I think is a little unfair). They had to ride at a slow pace for about five minutes, which hurt their chances of getting ahead.  He still was able to stay with the pack and did well!


Sunday was a beautiful day to end the racing weekend.  Mike participated in a Criterium race, which means they do many short laps around a block in a half an hour.  It is an intense race and it makes me very nervous because of the high speeds and the short corners.  His race actually had a really bad crash!  Luckily, Mike was not a part of it!  He was able to make it with the group at the end.


Overall, Mike had a very successful race.  He placed 15th overall out of about 75 people.  He was able to stay with the group of riders and learn more strategies for his upcoming Las Cruces race.

Las Cruces Road Race


A month ago the Zia Velo team went on a Saturday ride along the Las Cruces Road Race route.  Mike did the whole thing with them and I went along for the last part of the ride.  I was glad to be able to at least know where they went when it came time for the race this weekend because I became the designated photographer for the whole thing.

Mike and I were laughing because on Jason McClure’s bike (that Mike is borrowing) it has the words “Daddy is the best”.  So fitting in many ways.

At the beginning, they rode up Dripping Springs towards the new high school.  It is such a smooth road with a gradual incline (it is also the same road we do the Turkey Trot on too). 

The crew was yelling spontaneous things like “Liz + 1” and “Stalker” at me the whole time, but I was trying to get some good shots!

I like this picture because Mike is waving at me.  You can hardly see it, but it makes me laugh.

My favorite part of the ride is the part that passes the pecan orchards and heads over to Stahlman Farm.  I LOVED the weather mixed with the view too.  Couldn’t have asked for a better day to do it.

Matthew Busche who rides for Team Radioshack came along for the race as a tribute to his hometown.  Mike was able to get a picture with him and we sat with him at lunch and chatted it up for a while.  Nice guy!

Also, in honor of Barney’s birthday I took him on part of the route and this is what he was acting like:

What a beast.

Viva Bike Vegas!

 Well, its been a LONG time since I have been in the blogging world.  I blame it on work and lots of things happening.  Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to take pictures of EVERYTHING we have been going, which makes me so sad.

So Mike and I took off for our pilgrimage to Las Vegas for his third Viva Bike Vegas race back in the middle of September.  It’s always a good time because I get to see family in the process and we get a good bike race in the process.  This year it went 122 miles, which is the longest race Mike has ever done.

Here is Mike and his crew at 5 in the morning ready to take on the day!  It was a LONG day…

Mike was so funny because he saw me taking this picture and he hurried to the front to get a shot.  All for the sake of an awesome photo.  This was pretty much our view the whole day…driving around in a van and getting out of window shots!

The best view was when we went through Lake Las Vegas to Lake Mead.  It was sunrise and so beautiful!

I was making fun of my dad because he has this American flag all day.  I was embarrassed, but Mike was so proud of him and how he supported him throughout the race!

My dad kept stopping traffic to make sure Mike was getting his water bottles.

It was pretty cool because my nephews and my brother came out to support him.  We all got fired up to go biking when we come down for Christmas.  These guys were awesome helpers!

Overall, it was a great success,  Even tough Mike busted his bike at Lake Mead and we had to rent him a bike, he still was able to finish the whole thing thanks to the help of the family.  Here’s to hoping that next year goes a little smoother!


My First Triathlon

 So I finally sucked it up and tried my first triathlon.  It just happened.  Every month I get an email from White Sands Missile Range letting me know about half marathons, triathlons, or other events going on in town.  The Yucca Triathlon popped up a few weeks ago and I talked Mike into doing it considering on our vision board Mike had put “to do a triathlon or duathlon”.  When it comes to that board, we can not let anything pass. 🙂

First of all, we only trained a week.  The bike has been an ongoing training, but I have to admit the running and the swimming made me a little nervous.  I love running in races, just not every day (unless I had a running buddy or something to train for).  I knew I was in trouble when we did the Color Run 5k in Albuquerque and I felt like crap.  And well, let’s see, the last time I went swimming was…..I can’t even remember. 🙂

The Yucca Triathlon starts out with a 8k run, a 45k bike, and ends with a 400m swim.  Mike and I had googled 8k and found out it was around 4 miles, so the whole time we kept thinking it was only a little more than a 5k on the run.  Piece of cake.  We didn’t look at the decimal until the night before and realized it was 4.9…5 miles!  Mike was bummed because of all the rain, they had to shorten the ride to 14 miles.  There was a terrible headwind, so it ended up working out that way.

Judging by the picture of me coming in on the bike, you can probably guess what the weather was like!  It was cold, rainy, and windy, which made it a memorable experience for the both of us. Mike took off on the 8k with no trouble and stayed with the group.  His buddy Jason and I ran together in the back of the group (which was my plan all along).  The transition to bike was pretty easy…grab a helmet, and put my bike shoes on and I was off!  I’m guessing that part felt awesome to me because of all the biking I have done, but really, it felt awesome.  The headwind decreased my speed in half on the way back.  I was hitting almost 30 mph on the way out, but on the way back, it was 13-15 mph.  The rain also decided to act up at that point too and the other riders looked so mad when I came up on them.

When I came back in, I was SO NERVOUS about the swim.  It’s not that I didn’t think my muscles can’t do it.  It’s my breathing.  I can’t control it enough to go under water and I panic!

I am so glad it was NOT open water.  I like having the mental image of eight lanes to go up and down.  Since I had a pretty good gap on the people behind me on the bike, I was glad to not have people behind me in the pool.  I know this is normally first in a normal triathlon, and I wonder how people do it.  But hey, I made it, even after stopping a few times for a few seconds to get my breath.

I did it in 1:52 minutes while Mike finished in 1:28.  The cool thing is that they print out all your times so you can compare them to all of the other racers.  If I wasn’t so slow on the swim, I actually could have gotten first in my category (30-34)!  I ended up in second place and I will take it!

I love the no makeup and crazy swimming hair picture.  Mike was making fun of my curly hair trying to escape.  It was way crazy!

Mike was in the category called Clydesdale, for guys above 200 pounds.  He actually had one of the fastest bike times, so I think he would have done great in his normal category. He rocked it!

We are very addicted and I had a lot of fun! Mike is sitting here right now asking me when is there another one we can do and I am wanting to do it again.  Don’t get me wrong, we look like a bunch of 80 year olds walking around today, but it feels so good.

P.S.  I am taking a huge liking to swimming too! Mike and I are getting memberships to the local aquatic center.  I am so excited!

Mountainair, NM

 When I moved here three years ago, I knew NOTHING about New Mexico.  Las Cruces was a stopping ground on road trips to Texas and Florida, but that was about it.  We started doing mountain bike races and I was introduced to all the other cities of New Mexico like Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Gallup, and Los Alamos.  It’s pretty neat to explore these places and especially enjoy the awesome scenery.

Ever heard of Mountainair, NM?  Me neither.  Something about a town that’s named after a fresh mountain breeze.  I wish I would have gotten the pictures of the “main street”.  It was pretty much the whole town.

Anyway, Mike is finishing up the NM road series (he is trying to move up from Cat 5 and this was the last race).  I decided to join in, even though I had NO TRAINING whatsoever.

We got there and warmed up on the road.  It was cloudy, which was nice so we wouldn’t burn to death.  The race was 40 miles long and had a small climb at the end.

Mike was able to stay in the lead and got fifth in his category of more than 25 guys…awesome job!

My story ends tragically with being the naive one of my group.  I was in a group of 13 girls.  Three of them fell off the back and I was able to stay with the whole group until mile 25.  It was there a huge right turn happened.  One, I hate turns on a road bike and two, I hate people who cut me off on turns on a road bike.  And that’s what happened.  Four of us fell off the back of the group, and well, we stayed back.  I had so much rage and energy that I “pulled” the girls a lot to see if we could make it.  After being yelled at for going too fast, I slowed down and stayed with the girls.  At the finish line, they all slipped past me.  I was used. 😦  But I did learn to not help people if they are going too slow!

So I did it!  A road race!  9th place. He he.

Sandia Peak Challenge 2012

Even though I haven’t been riding the New Mexico Off Road Series as much this year (see, I still want to give it a shot this year!  People get so excited for this race because it is listed as the state championship.  Two more hours of registration and there are only two girls racing the sport race! Ha ha!  Thankfully, the other girl is in my category so I have some competition.

We decided to pre-ride the course last Saturday and it was so beautiful out.  I was able to make it to the top in about an hour and a half.  Ned Overend, awesome mountain biker extraordinaire, has made it in about fifty minutes so I will take it.

I love this shot of Mike on the downhill.

The downhill is so fun.  It’s very smooth and gradual and it takes about 25 minutes to get down at a quick pace.  A lot of people take the lift to the top and then just ride down for fun.  We prefer to take the “free” route (that doesn’t cost any money) and ride our bikes up on our own.  Plus it gives us bragging rights of being hard-core.

I tried to re-enact Mike’s awesome picture, and instead made the “fish face” and ruined it.  (See my Fitness post on how to breathe when running…I am a pro at making the fish face!)

Teaching Mountain Biking

  I’m used to teaching middle school science to a bunch of a teenagers that have no interest in it, but changing over to being a mountain bike instructor is a totally different experience.  I feel like I am inadequate when it comes to teaching it.  My new guinea pig was my sister this weekend.  We went to the local bike shop and rented a bike for twenty bucks. 

First of all, the bike was extremely heavy, so I felt really bad for my sister, but she was such a trooper.  The main thing I would suggest before taking a rookie out is to make sure they have the right gear.  Helmet is a must, gloves are nice, and I highly recommend finding spandex for them.  I forget how it took me days for my rear end to feel better after riding a mountain bike (especially if you are riding a hard tail).

I took her on a basic trail that was a three-mile loop and then we upped the next ride to a six-mile loop.  Mike and I discuss the difference between road and mountain miles and we claim that you take mountain miles and double it to make it similar to each other.

For example, a 9 mile mountain bike ride is the same as an 18 mile road ride.  You have to do more miles in road to feel the burn of a 9 mile mountain bike ride.

Anyway, she did great.  I kept her in her middle gears and then when we hit uphill, had her switch down to the lower gears, but never touched the big ring.  I didn’t use my big ring until I started racing.  (In case you don’t know, the big ring is when you have a harder gear to pedal in and it takes a lot of leg work). 

I’m so proud of my sister for trying out biking.  She did a great job and put forth a great effort.  She told me she wants to do it again when she comes back! 🙂  Such a trooper!